ROHYX Chapter 471 : Fundraising (2)

Zhao Huan returned to the Zhao family and told Madam Zhao about the outcome of his negotiations with Yuxi. "I thought Madam Yun would take the opportunity to demand an increase in her dividend share!" But to his surprise, she didn't say anything about it. It was really beyond his wildest thoughts.

Madam Zhao was not surprised. "The two families have always been close, so if she asked for a higher dividend share, she would be taking advantage of us instead." On the contrary, Han Shi's proposal for the Zhao family to make donations, which was the same as asking the Zhao family to fund the charity home, showed that she was filled with righteousness.

Although Zhao Huan was not the head of the Zhao family, he could still decide within a certain range. He asked, "Shenzi[1], what do you think is the appropriate amount for our Zhao family to donate?" If they donated too much, it would be too eye-catching and make people jealous; donating less would make them look stingy. Zhao Huan thought that the amount between three to four thousand taels would be enough.

Madam Zhao didn't want to give Zhao Huan any ideas, so she replied, "It would be more appropriate for you to go back and ask your father about it." Donations were also something that needed to be learned.

After talking to Madam Zhao, Zhao Huan returned to Xinping City. Madam Zhao then called Er Nainai[2] Zhao and asked, "How is the Charity Home now?" She knew Yuxi was now in charge of the Charity Home, but she had yet to visit it.

Er Nainai[2] Zhao answered, "The Charity Home is quite good now. There are twenty-eight helpers inside, and the older children are also helping to look after the younger ones, so everything is in order." She had brought some rice and grain over when she visited those children earlier.

After a pause, Er Nainai[2] Zhao continued, ''Yuxi also made two sets of clothes for each child and took very good care of those sick. I heard that General Yun only allocated five hundred taels of silver to the Charity Home initially, and that money was used up a long time ago. Today's expenses are all subsidised by Yuxi." Treating the sick was the most costly, but Yuxi still took great care of them, something that was hard to come by.

Madam Zhao thought momentarily before asking, "I remember that Han Shi also adopted dozens of orphans, right?" Her memory had deteriorated as she grew older.

Er Nainai[2] Zhao nodded. "That's right! These adopted children are placed on the farmland. Those children will learn to read and write and practise martial arts in the morning; they will have to help on the farmland in the afternoon. I heard Yuxi say that this is to cultivate the children's survival ability." Being close to Yuxi, she knew more.

Madam Zhao nodded and told Er Nainai[2] Zhao that Yuxi wanted to gather people to donate money. "I'll donate five hundred taels, and you personally deliver it tomorrow." This money was also considered a token of her appreciation.

Er Nainai[2] Zhao exclaimed, "Mom, last time I said I would donate to Qingming Hall, Yuxi disagreed. This time, she took the initiative to gather people to donate. Is it because the cost is too high?"

Madam Zhao nodded. "Last time, even though there were about three hundred or so children, it was only for two or three months, and they only needed to be fed. This time it's different. These five hundred children need full-time care, costing at least ten thousand taels annually." This was still a conservative estimate. But even so, ten thousand taels a year was not something anyone could afford.

Er Nainai[2] Zhao stated, "I will also donate two hundred taels." Two hundred taels was also a large amount of money for her.

Madam Zhao said, "Just do what you can." At this point, she felt that Yuxi had done an excellent job. Yuxi knew she could not hold on, so she relied on external force rather than resisting. This showed she could bend and stretch[3].

Er Nainai[2] Zhao wondered, "Mom, do you think I should put this out so everyone can donate together? If everyone donates together, the small amount will add up to a large amount, making these children's lives a little better." This was also inspired by what happened last time.

Madam Zhao responded, "It won't be too late to put the news out when Han Shi receives your money tomorrow." Yun Qing was now the most important official in Yu City, and those ladies and married women would definitely take the initiative to send money when they heard the news to flatter and curry favour.

After Da Nainai[4] Zhao learned about this, she gritted her teeth and expressed willingness to donate three hundred taels. After all, she was the eldest daughter-in-law and could not fall behind her sister-in-law.

The next day, Er Nainai[2] Zhao sent a thousand taels of silver to Yuxi. "Yuxi, you must accept this money! You can't just turn it down like last time."

Yuxi smiled and repeated what she had said to Zhao Huan earlier: "This time, no matter how much you give me, I will accept it." After saying that, she turned to Shiliu and instructed her: "Go and call Zhuye here." Zhuye could read and write, so Yuxi left it to her to register the donations.

Er Nainai[2] Zhao explained her plan to call everyone together to collect donations. "Yuxi, what do you think of this idea?"

Yuxi replied: "Of course, it's fine, but you should clarify to them that this is voluntary and not something imposed on them. In addition, I will write down the name of the donor and the amount of their donation and post it on the wall of the Charity Home. In this way, the children will know from whom they have received favours." After a pause, she continued: "I will register every expense of the Charity Home and post it for everyone to see." If it were only three to five hundred taels, she wouldn't have to do this, but the amount was too large, and in order to prevent gossip, she had to.

Er Nainai[2] Zhao smiled and said, "What are you talking about, Yuxi? No one will doubt your words." Not to mention that she believed in Yuxi's character; she could just say that Yuxi wouldn't even look at this amount of money.

Yuxi argued: "This is not the same. The account should still need to be clear. This is to let everyone know where their money is being used so that all the donors feel at ease." No one would feel comfortable if people knew that somebody had embezzled their donated money.

Er Nainai[2] Zhao smiled and said, "It's still you who thought it through."

Yuxi thought momentarily before saying, "Speaking of which, I have been in Yu City for so long, and I have never once held a banquet. I will take this opportunity to invite the madams and married women of Yu City to attend so that I can get to know everyone." The banquet was just an excuse. Her real purpose was to gather everyone to raise funds.

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Er Nainai[2] Zhao immediately understood Yuxi's intention and smiled: "Of course, that is good." Things were different now. She believed that everyone who received the invitation would come.

As Da Nainai[4] Zhao had predicted, on the day Yuxi held the banquet, everyone who had received the invitation came except for Da Nainai[4] Fu. Everyone was also very generous with their donations. However, the economic standard of Yu City could not be compared to the capital, so most of them donated one to two hundred taels, with the most enormous amount being five hundred taels. In this respect, Yuxi was still satisfied.

The food served to the guests on that day was also very ordinary: the tea was all scented tea made by Yuxi herself, and in addition, there was also honey water or fruit juice; and the fruit was whatever was in season, such as grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe[5], and so on[🤔]. The pastries served were candied jujube cakes, osmanthus cakes, and cloud cakes made by Mama Bai. As for the lunch was a meal of four meats, four vegetables, and a soup made by Master Man. This kind of hospitality specification was a far cry from Xu Shi's back then. However, no one present said that it was shabby. Instead, there was a constant stream of praise.

Yuxi didn't care whether these people's words were heartfelt or just them being polite; she accepted them all with a smile. After sending the last guest away, she asked Zhuye: "How many donations have we received today?"

Zhuye replied, "Six thousand eight hundred taels."

Yuxi responded somewhat wearily, "It's pretty good to get this much money." The military officers of Yu City were actually not having a very good time themselves. It was already quite rare for them to collect this much money.

At that moment, Yuxi hoped that Zhao Huan would be able to raise more money. Of course, there was nothing wrong now in the summer, but in the winter, when the weather was cold and the ground frozen, these children would suffer. Not only would they need winter clothes, but they also need a place to stay. Yuxi thought that as soon as she had the money, she would buy a piece of land and build a suitable house for these children to live in.

When Mama Qu looked at Yuxi's appearance, she wanted to tell her not to work so hard, but she swallowed back her words. She knew in her heart that it would only be useless even if she said it.

Yuxi told Zhuye, "Zhuye, I want you to manage the Children Charity Home. Will you go?" Zhuye was awfully earnest and very caring. The most important thing was that she could read, write, and keep accounts. She was simply the right person to run the Children Charity Home.

Zhuye hesitated for a moment before asking, "Madam, do you think I can do it?" If she didn't do it well, Madam would lose her face.

Yuxi replied: "Why not? As long as you follow the rules and regulations, you can do it. If there's anything you can't handle, you can ask Mama Qu or report back to me."

Zhuye nodded. "All right. Madam, I won't embarrass you." Although she said this, her palms were still sweating at the thought of caring for more than five hundred children.

Yuxi chuckled softly. ''Don't be afraid. Whatever you don't know, you will know in time. However, if you go to the Charity Home, your work will be harder and less easy than in the mansion. You can take time to think about it."

Zhuye said without thinking, "Madam, I'm not afraid of hard work." It didn't matter if she would be a little busy and a little tired. What she was afraid of was being left out and not being valued.

Because of her pregnancy, Da Nainai[4] Fu could not attend the banquet, but she also had someone donate 500 taels. When the old woman servant who had been sent there returned, she asked, "Were there many people at the banquet?"

The old woman servant answered, "Madam, all the prominent ladies of Yu City went to the banquet, and it was a very lively scene. I heard that the people were very enthusiastic about making donations."

Upon hearing this answer, Da Nainai[4] Fu said: "I see. You can withdraw." After saying that, she leaned back on the soft couch, feeling sullen.

Towards evening, an old woman servant came in to report, "Madam, Eldest Master said he had something to do today and couldn't come back."

Hearing this, Da Nainai[4] Fu burst into tears. "I know he blames me, but I didn't mean it." She knew very well that her husband had been in a bad mood ever since he learned that they had not been able to find the seven missing children. Although he didn't directly blame her, she knew her husband was unhappy.

Qiudan[7] comforted her, "Da Nainai[4], don't think too much. Eldest Master must be busy with his official duties, so he can't come back. He will return home when he's finished with his work." Her Master was currently carrying a child. It wouldn't be good for her body if she stayed depressed all day.

Da Nainai[4] Fu wiped away her tears and said, "Now I just hope those seven children can be found soon." Only then could the uneasiness in her husband's heart be resolved, and only then could he return to his former self. If not, she didn’t know what else she could do!

Footnotes Full List
  1. wife of father's younger brother; aunt
  2. er=second, nainai=a young mistress of a family
  3. Chinese idiom: submit or assert oneself as the occasion requires; be adaptable to circumstances
  4. da=eldest, nainai=a young mistress of a family
  5. Cantaloupe
    Image Credit | fir0002 flagstaffotos [at] Canon 20D + Sigma 150mm f/2.8, GFDL 1.2, via Wikimedia Commons
  6. I don't know that grapes and watermelon are seasonal fruits. I always see them all year round. From what I have read, the peak season for grapes is September for green grapes, October for red grapes and the late summer to early autumn months for sweet purple grapes. At the same time, the best time to pick watermelons is from May to September. Meanwhile, the peak season for cantaloupe is from June to August.
  7. qiu=summer, dan=cinnabar/red. So her name should mean red summer or something like that. 😅


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